Get Ready for…Dec. 17?

For brick-and-mortar retailers, Black Friday–traditionally the busiest shopping day of the holiday season–has been the day after Thanksgiving. But for online merchants, Black Friday this year will likely be Dec. 17. Atlas DMT, a Seattle-based provider of marketing technology, expects that the online holiday shopping season’s busiest day will come at the end of the Dec. 13 work week.

Atlas based its prediction on results from its fourth annual holiday shopping study. Among other findings from the survey:

* Whereas Monday is the slowest online shipping day the rest of the ye during the holiday season it’s the busiest. This suggests that consumers who were shopping in stores during the weekend logged onto the Web to comparison shop before completing their purchase.

* Weekdays between noon and 3 p.m. Eastern time are the busiest times for online holiday shopping, with many consumers hitting the Web during their lunch breaks. “Marketers can take advantage of this trend,” according to an Atlas release, “by tailoring advertising messages to the at-work audience through the ability to purchase day-part advertising placements to target online shoppers during the middle of the workday.”

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